This beautiful and elusive creature, native to the mountains of Central Asia, seemingly disappears among the rugged, snowy landscape, leading it to often be called the ghost cat – this is the Snow Leopard.
These legendary leopards are commonly found at elevations between 10,000-16,000 ft (3,000-5,000 m). Snow Leopards have 5 inch (12 cm) thick fur that, with its rosette pattern (spots) and gray color, provides excellent camouflage and warmth in their mountainous habitat.
These cool cats weigh around 50-165 lbs (20-75 kg) and measure 2 ft (60 cm) at the shoulder. Their thick, furry tail measures 3 feet (1 meter) in length and aids in balance and helps keep them warm as they wrap it around themselves.
Unlike other big cats, snow leopards cannot roar, but they can hiss, growl, purr and make a friendly chuff.
Snow leopards primarily hunt blue sheep and ibex, as well as small mammals and birds. They may also prey upon domestic livestock, which causes great conflict between the leopards and humans. For the herders, losing livestock can be catastrophic, and many snow leopards are killed because of this.
Snow leopards are actually quite shy, and would rather flee from people than fight. In fact, there are no known accounts of snow leopards attacking humans.